The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : People With Disabilities from the Misercordia Heart of Mercy House, Are Invited to Watch as Staff At the Brookfield Zoo Give a 450 Pound Lion a Check Up

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

People With Disabilities from the Misercordia Heart of Mercy House, Are Invited to Watch as Staff At the Brookfield Zoo Give a 450 Pound Lion a Check Up

Brookfield, IL - In a small but state-of-the-art medical room at Brookfield Zoo, this 450-pound lion is about as dangerous as a sleeping house cat. Doctors put Zenda under to give him a good once-over and give people a chance to learn about the animal and conservation.

“We look at everything,” said Dr. Michael Adkesson with the Brookfield Zoo. “So we look at him from head to toe on a physical exam, we draw blood for various testing, to look at his organ function. We do a full set of X-rays on him, ultrasound, really everything we can do we take care of him while we got him here.

In addition to making sure the 8-year-old is in good physical shape, the Brookfield Zoo invited a few people over from the Misercordia Heart of Mercy House. It’s a facility that helps people with mental and physical disabilities, and on this day, they are learning about the lion and conservation.

Before they got comfortable shaking hands with the sleeping giant, they admit they were more than just a little nervous.

But within minutes and a few reassuring words from the zoo’s staff, their fear quickly transformed into just plain fun.

“For us to able to share that and showcase the care we provide the animals, as well as the conservation messages behind that, with some really amazing people today, a very neat opportunity,” Adkesson said.

While they may not remember everything they learned about the lion this day, you can bet no one will forget the time they got to try and make the “king of the jungle” purr.

The Brookfield Zoo medical staff says they put Zenda and the other lion under every two years for their checkup and they say he’s in really great shape.










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